Perfusionists are professionals who assist surgeons during complicated surgical procedures, usually cardiac procedures. As the name of the position suggests, these health care providers specialize in the control of the medical equipment, and they dispense medications for either slowing down the heart beat or for stopping the heart completely, thus allowing the surgeon to complete the procedure. It is the duty of the perfusionist do to his job with minimal stress on the body of the patient. These are skilled professionals who undergo extensive training in order to become who they are, and they are an indispensable part of the surgical team. That being said, these medical professionals typically work around 40 hours per week and the average annual salary for a perfusionist revolves around the sum of $90,000.
Pay Scale In Different Parts Of The United States of America
The state of California pays its perfusion’s median wages that can range between $82,000 and as much as $95,000, while Texas can reward them with a salary of up to $100,000. Michigan, on the other hand, pays them median wages that range between $65,000 and $96,000, New York can offer them salaries of up to $147,000 if they are truly skilled while the state of Florida pays them median salaries that typically range between $80,000 and as much as $102,000. On the other hand, the maximum yearly salary of a perfusion’s in Pennsylvania revolves around $115,000 a year, which is still considerably over the national average described above.
Perfusion’s Job Description
As described above, perfusionists typically work with surgeons and assist them during cardiac surgeries. It is extremely important for the surgeon to work on a still heart, and this is precisely where the perfusionist comes in and temporarily replace both the respiratory and the circulatory functions of the patient, allowing the surgeon to work freely and unrestrained. These professionals must take very good care of both the lungs and the heart throughout the entire procedure.
The perfusionist is trained to operate an advanced medical machine that sustains the functions of the heart and the lungs during the surgery. Simply put, this high end medical equipment plays the role of an artificial blood pump that simply oxygenates the blood and transports it through the body of the patient, thus allowing the surgeon to operate on the heart. The perfusionists are absolutely essential for the success of the cardiac surgery, this is precisely the reason why they spend a significant part of their time in the operating room.
To put it simple, the primary duty of the perfusionist is to carefully assess the patient prior to the surgery and to determine his pharmacological and mechanical needs in order to maintain a proper and stable physiological state throughout the entire cardiac procedure. It is their responsibility to be well-aware of the advanced medical equipment, and how these machines work in order to maintain the circulatory and the respiratory functions of the patient intact, while the surgeon operates on the heart.
Given the fact that even the slightest mistake can cost the life of the patient, it is extremely important for the perfusionist to take the medical health history of the patient and to see whether the patient is allergic to any type of drugs. Also, these professionals must also determine the suitable circulatory and respiratory techniques that shall be used, they must properly prepare and operate the heart and lung machine and they must constantly monitor the health status of the patient.
Part of the duty of the perfusionist is to record the patient’s vital functions and any potential changes that may occur during the surgery, then he must take the necessary measures. It is also the duty of the perfusionist to keep an eye on the blood composition, the temperature and the blood circulation of the patient, in order to make sure that everything is working correctly. These professionals work closely with both anesthesiologists and surgeons, in order to devise the most suitable plan according to the needs of each individual.
How To Become A Perfusionist?
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If you have decided to pursue a medical career as a perfusion’s, then it is essential to complete a four-year training program within one of the many perfusion training programs across the United States of America. Some of them can choose to apply for a Bachelor’s Degree followed by a certificate program. Nevertheless, it is extremely important for all those who apply for the certification to have solid knowledge in fields like anatomy, physiology, chemistry as well as biology.
During the training program that lasts for 48 months, the students will learn everything they need to know about the long-term use of heart and lung machines, how to monitor the patients while they are on these machines, how to deal with neonatal and pediatric patients as well as how to install a heart and lung bypass on an adult patient. Some clinical training is crucial as well.
If you have decided to pursue a certification as a perfusionist, it is important to meet all the requirements. The certification exam is administered by the ABCP, or the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion and it consists of both a basic science exam and a clinical application in perfusion. You will need to be well-aware of topics like quality assurance matrices, pathology, medical equipment used in the operating room (especially for the cardiac surgery) as well as pharmacology. At the end of the examination, you will be offered a certification that increases your job opportunities.
Perfusionist Salary In Canada, Australia And The UK
The median yearly salary of a perfusion’s in Canada ranges between CAD$60,00 and CAD$80,000, in Australia between Au$70,000 and Au$100,000, while in the United Kingdom it varies anywhere between 21,000 and as much as 50,000 pounds a year.
Verdict On Perfusionist Salary
To conclude, becoming a perfusion’s takes less training as opposed to many other medical professions that receive a similar salary. The salary of these health care specialists is very motivating in the long haul, therefore if you are driven by the desire to help others and to get financially rewarded for it, then working as a perfusion’s is certainly an inspired choice.